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Candidate Obama vs. President Obama

October 4th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s another busy day so I’ll keep this quick. I just wanted to echo a sentiment I’ve been hearing a lot lately from other bloggers and commentators, a point that I think is worth repeating often.

If Barack Obama had gone into the presidential primaries in 2008 and campaigned on what he would actually end up doing, he would never have won.

Had candidate Obama announced that he was going to pass a health care reform bill that forced everyone to buy insurance from private companies and did nothing to control costs, he would have lost easily.

Had candidate Obama promised Wall Street reform that allowed banks to continue gambling with taxpayer money, he would have been crushed.

Had candidate Obama admitted that we was going to expand offshore oil-drilling and do nothing to address climate change, he wouldn’t have even survived past New Hampshire.

Had candidate Obama told the American people that he was going to continue the most egregious abuses of executive power done by the Bush administration including warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and indefinite detention in military prisons like Bagram and even Guantanamo (we’re still waiting for that to get closed), he would have been out of the race so fast that his name would have already been forgotten by now.

Had candidate Obama declared his intention to actually expand executive power to the point where the president can order the execution of an American citizen abroad without a trial, he would have been practically run out of the country.

I could go on, but you get the point. The people who are defending Obama today don’t seem to have realized that this is almost a completely different person than the man they voted for. If they were yelling and screaming in protest about this kind of stuff when Bush was doing it, why are they defending Obama for the same exact shit?

The main point is that we can’t expect change to come from our political leaders at all. Even if a candidate says exactly the right things and runs on the exact agenda we’d like to see implemented, there’s no guarantee that he won’t do a complete reversal on nearly all of it once he gets into office—in fact it’s likely he will. Bowing to the establishment is much much easier than standing up to it.

Oh, but I suppose I’m just “whining” and I should “buck up”. After all, the important thing is to have a Democrat in the White House, even if he governs just like a Republican.

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